Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 17, 1906.djvu/213

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Collectanea. 1 99

raise the water. In one or two places the shaduf-song consists of words which are not Arabic and are not understood by the natives ; they are therefore probably a corrupted form of Coptic. From Luxor southward to Assuan, however, in addition to the shadiaf-song, the shadufs themselves are furnished with pieces of tin from petroleum cases which creak loudly when the machine is used. As the object of the tin must have been, like that of the song, to keep the crocodiles away, we have in the employ- ment a proof that the crocodile did not retreat before the steamers southward of the First Cataract until after the introduction of petroleum into Upper Egypt.

As might be expected, where religious beliefs and practices are concerned, survivals are numerous enough. I have described some of them in an article I contributed to the Contem- porary Review for October, 1893, on "Serpent-worship in ancient and modern Egypt," and other examples will be found in my last paper in Folk-lore. As a recent work by the late Prof. Samuel Ives Curtiss has drawn special atten- tion to the survival of the cult of sacred Trees among the Mohammedans and Christians of Syria, I may add here that persistent relics of the same old cult are equally to be found among the Mohammedan fellahin of Egypt. The qtibba or " shekh's " tomb generally has a tree standing by the side of it, just as the sacred tree stood by the side of the chapel of the local deity in the Egypt of the Pharaohs. At times the tree stands alone, without any reflected sanctity from the shekh and his supposed tomb. Thus at Qasr es-Sayyad there is a tamarisk under which I have seen a bowl placed with a few grains of corn in it by way of offering, while a low wall of uncemented stones surrounds the sacred spot. I have often seen rags hanging upon some of these trees, though the natives always assure me that they have been placed there by the Bedawin and not by the fellahin.

A little northward of Dirr in Nubia I once fell across an interesting instance of the continuity of a cult. A few yards to the south of a rock-tomb of the age of the Nineteenth Dynasty is a niche in the rock with the remains of a small image of the dead man, and a shelf in front of it, cut out of the rock,